An education that includes exposure to literature is a more balanced, rewarding, and comprehensive education. If your child is attending a private high school or a college preparatory high school, its curriculum should include the study of literature.
At Orinda Academy, we explore an array of literary genres by authors from a multitude of cultures. Our curricula builds vocabulary and knowledge of history by studying traditional works likeThe Iliad andRomeo and Juliet as well as more modern classics likeNative Son andThe Things They Carried. Students discover the art of narration by contrasting the dialects and dramatic styles of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams with the likes of Lorraine Hansberry and Sophocles. The voices of authors like Sherman Alexie, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Kate Chopin provide glimpses into the shared experience of people from different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Students also discuss history, politics, and human nature by studying satirical giants as disparate as Molière, Twain, and Vonnegut. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it.” We seek to bring these words to life. At OA, we strive to broaden our students' literary horizons, deepen their intellectual curiosities, and refine the lens with which they experience the world. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of literature in education.
Literature Affords Meaningful Context to a Curriculum
While reading about facts in a textbook is a useful learning method, studies have shown that more information is retained when facts are conveyed through stories. When high schools use literature-based curriculums, the students are able to put the historical facts, figures, and events from their textbooks into context. Descriptive language, memorable characters, and a comprehensive and detailed narrative will draw them in.
Literature Encourages Deep Thought and Reasoning
Literature exposes high school students to different vocabulary, sentence structure, imagery, and narrative than textbooks do. This can give them a boost in creativity, and can encourage them to pursue new lines of reasoning and a deeper thought process. Many high school students find it easier to relate to historical events and characters when they are introduced in a narrative form, instead of via the dry writing of a textbook. Being able to relate to historical characters and events will make it easier for students to analyze and discuss the motivations and environments responsible for these events.
Literature Encourages Interaction
As students become more connected to and invested in the stories surrounding the people and events they’re learning about, they’ll also become more excited about discussing what they are learning with others. This encourages meaningful interactions between students and teachers, and amongst the students themselves.
At Orinda Academy, we provide a private college preparatory high school education to the East Bay community. All of our English classes include substantial amounts of literature. Our curriculum is challenging, and our school offers an arts education, smaller class sizes, and teachers who are committed to catering to many different learning styles. Visit our campus today to speak with an admissions counselor, or call us at (925) 478-4504 to schedule a campus tour.